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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 10RDNUIG707 NUIG (Teagasc) €348,286

Project Title:

Novel strategy for exploitation of milk glycoproteins in infant formula

Project Coordinator:

Prof Lokesh Joshi

Project Abstract

The goal of the infant formula industry is to mimic the composition of human milk and thereby ensure optima nutrition and development of the human infant. Oligosaccharides are the third largest component of human milk and functions include prebiotic activity to promote commensal growth, protecting the gut epithelium from pathogenic invasion, and stimulating development of the normal immune system. The oligosaccharide content of cow's milk is less than 5% that of human milk, although both have some similar structures. Many milk proteins are glycosylated and their glycan components share some of the biological activities of the oligosaccharide fraction. However, the glycan component of milk glycoproteins has not been explored in any depth and remains to be exploited. We propose a novel strategy to fractionate glycoproteins from cow's milk, which will facilitate exploitation of specific biological activities. This will involve:

  1. Setting up a multiple lectin affinity protocol for fractionation of milk glycoproteins from various processing streams, based on their biologically-active terminal motifs
  2. Characterisation of the resulting fractions in terms of:
    1. Glycoprotein content,
    2. Glycan profile using novel lectin array technology,
    3. Activity in a variety of biological assays to determine the optimal fraction for specified activities

Final Report:

Final Report 10RDNUIG707 (pdf 351Kb)